The U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team has named Marc Nölke, an Olympian and highly-regarded ski jumping coach, to oversee its jumping program. (Photo courtesy of Marc Nölke)
PARK CITY, UT (June 11) – With its sights set on Sochi, the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team has named Marc Nölke, an Olympian and highly-regarded ski jumping coach, to oversee its jumping program. Nölke, a German coach who has worked with both Austrian and German national jumping teams, has joined the Team for its summer training at the USSA's Center of Excellence and Utah Olympic Park in Park City.
The U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team has named Marc Nölke as its nordic combined jumping coach.
A German native, Nölke was one of the youngest Olympic ski jumpers ever, qualifying for the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville before a serious injury there cut his career short.
As an assistant coach for both Austrian and German national teams, he coached some of the greatest athletes in the sport.
During his tenure from 2006-2010 with the Austrian National Team, he worked closely with World Cup titlists Thomas Morgenstern and Gregor Schlierenzauer. During that time the Austrians won four Nations Cup titles, the Olympic team event in Vancouver, and were dominant at World Championships and in the prestigious Four Hills Tournament.
Nordic combined includes a round of ski jumping with athletes seeded in the subsequent cross country race by their jumping results.
U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team athletes have been consistently leading in cross country but have been off the pace in ski jumping. Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) and Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) are considered among the best cross country skiers in nordic combined.
Nölke, who lives in Cologne, joined the U.S. Team for a June jumping camp at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, and will be back on the hill with the team in July.
The USA won four nordic combined medals at the 2010 Olympics. Demong and Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) will return for Sochi. In the last two seasons, brothers Bryan and Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) have had breakout World Cup performances with Bryan winning the prestigious King’s Cup World Cup at Holmenkollen in Oslo in 2012. The four athletes combined to take bronze in the team event at the 2013 World Championships.
Previous jumping coach Chris Gilbertson, who saw the Team through four Olympic medals in Vancouver, left the team this past spring.
QUOTES Dave Jarrett, Head Coach, U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team As a strong nordic combined team you need to be competitive in both jumping and cross country. Across the board we’ve had the cross country strength but jumping has been holding us back. Marc brings us the opportunity to learn from a coach who has worked with best in the world ski jumpers. Our athletes have the ability and if we can improve on the jumping hill it will have a profound impact on our overall results.
Marc Nölke, Jumping Coach, U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team I was surprised in a positive way with what I experienced at our first jumping camp. These guys are really good – I was impressed. The baseline is very good – they have good power and strength. We need to work more on specificity in their ski jumping. My strength is finding new attitudes and solutions much like I did in the four seasons with the Austrian jumping team.